Currently reading: New Hyundai Ioniq plug-in to join electrified range, priced from £24,995
Hyundai's first dedicated alternatively fuelled car is now on sale in all three specifications; it costs from £20,585 in regular hybrid form
Darren Moss
5 mins read
6 July 2017

The Hyundai Ioniq PHEV (plug-in hybrid) model will be the third and final variant of the electrified hatchback range to go on sale when order books open on the 13 July.

Priced from £24,995, the Ioniq PHEV slots between the hybrid and fully electric model that are already on sale, priced from £20,585 and £29,495 respectively.

The Ioniq is Hyundai's first dedicated alternatively fuelled model and also the first car from any manufacturer to be offered with three electric powertrain options within a single body type.

Futuristic Hyundai FE Fuel Cell concept revealed previews 2018 model

Engines and gearbox

The Ioniq PHEV combines a 104bhp 1.6 GDI direct-injection petrol engine and a 55bhp electric motor. The motor is powered by a 8.9kWh lithium ion polymer battery to enable a range of 39 miles in electric-only mode. The car produces CO2 emissions of 26g/km and can achieve up to 257mpg, according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

It joins the hybrid comprised of a 1.6-litre Kappa GDi engine that produces a peak of 103bhp and 109lb ft of torque, and a lithium ion battery-powered, permanent magnetic electric motor that contributes a maximum of 43bhp and 125lb ft of torque. The Ioniq hybrid is claimed to have a thermal efficiency of 40%, which conveniently matches its arch-rival, the Toyota Prius.

This efficiency is possible thanks to the combustion engine's use of optimised cooling and a 200bar six-point direct fuel injection system, while the electric motor benefits from declination coils that allow it to work with a claimed 95% efficiency.

Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic gearbox that's been optimised to offer as much as 97.5% efficiency - another class-leading feature, according to Hyundai.

The Ioniq Electric features an uprated lithium-ion battery pack, and is good for an estimated 155 miles of range. Its electric motor produces 118bhp and 218lb ft of torque, with drive channelled through a single-speed transmission. In this form, the Ioniq has a top speed of 103mph.

A key standard feature of the electric model is rapid charge compatibility: it can be charged to 80% capability in 33min from a 50kW CCS Combo Rapid public charger. Owners can also plug their car into a conventional domestic charger. To help boost energy when on the move, the Ioniq Electric features regenerative braking which can be adjusted via steering column-mounted paddles.



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It may not be particularly exciting, but the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Hybrid varieties are decent additions to the UK's growing low emission marketplace

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The model is built on a brand new platform, which is shared with sister brand Kia's Niro crossover. Hyundai says the new model's chassis has been optimised to deliver "responsive handling while remaining efficient in each of its three powertrain configurations". It's made up of a mix of Advanced High Strength Steel - the material contributes a significant 53% to the structure - and aluminium, which is used for the bonnet, boot and suspension components and shaves 12.6kg off the car's weight.

Hyundai's handling claims appear to be backed up by the fitment of dual-lower arm multi-link suspension at the rear, while the batteries have been located in the car's floor to lower its centre of gravity.


The new alternatively fuelled Ioniq also offers “class-leading aerodynamics”, according to Hyundai. 

The vehicle’s exterior styling is said to make it very slippery through the air, reducing drag and enhancing fuel economy. At the front Hyundai’s hexagonal grille incorporates moving flaps that can direct airflow over the car.


Hyundai has gone for a clutter-free approach, combining “efficient use of interior space and a clear, logical approach is applied to the layout of control functions”. The interior is said to be constructed with eco-friendly materials.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring feature on the Ioniq, plus TomTom Live sat-nav. A wireless smartphone charging mat is also available.

The Ioniq's dashboard's shape and layout appear very similar to the Hyundai Tucson's - there's even the same digital touchscreen display housed between the two central air vents, and the heating controls look nearly identical.

In terms of safety technology, the Ioniq features autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping assistance, blind spot detection, rear traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.

While all three models of the Ioniq look broadly similar, the two hybrid versions have blue trim accent colours, and the electric model gets copper accents.

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More details

Hyundai says the Ioniq "breaks the mould for hybrid vehicles. As the world’s first model to offer customers the choice of three powertrain options, the Ionic combines class-leading fuel efficiency with a fun, responsive drive and attractive design - a unique mix not yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle".

It’s no surprise to see Hyundai developing a dedicated hybrid model, as sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles continue to grow in Europe and the UK. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that sales for this type of vehicle grew by close to 20% in recent months.

The launch of the dedicated hybrid model will also help Hyundai reach the strict 95g/km CO2 regulations coming into force in Europe in 2020. 

Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center Woong-Chul Yang said: “We are proud to advance our eco-friendly car line-up with the introduction of Ioniq. Our vision for future mobility focuses on choice, with a variety of powertrain options to suit customers’ varied lifestyles, without compromising on design or driving enjoyment. Ioniq embodies Hyundai's vision to shift the automotive paradigm and future mobility; Ioniq is the fruit of our efforts to become the leader in the global green car market.”

Hyundai UK boss Tony Whitehorn has already said the best way to introduce more hybrid technology to the firm’s line-up is to start with a dedicated car. Speaking to Autocar, he said: “Probably the best way to do that is with a standalone model, as Toyota has done. Toyota started with the Prius and has expanded that range; it has said, 'Let’s make a statement' but ultimately has taken that technology [for other models].

“If you just restrict hybrid technology to one vehicle, you’ll never get the revenue. You have to put it in other cars." 

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Plans for Hyundai's hybrid project go as far back as 2010, when the firm showed its Blue-Will concept car. That model featured a 1.6-litre petrol engine working in conjunction with a 134bhp electric motor. Early-stage test cars were then spotted testing in August 2015.

Hyundai celebrated selling one million cars in the UK last year. Speaking at an event to mark the occasion, Whitehorn said low-emissions vehicles would be integral to the firm's ongoing growth. Hyundai plans to introduce 28 such vehicles by 2020.

“In 2017, we are looking at hybrid and EV technology coming out, and that will just escalate,” said Whitehorn. “I see electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids as a way of bridging the gap between the internal combustion engine and pure fuel cell technology. How long that bridge lasts  for is uncertain, but it is interesting to see manufacturers such as ourselves going for a variety of technologies.”

Read more - Hyundai Ioniq driven

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16 July 2015
And I honestly think that building a dedicated hybrid is the way to go. Quite a lot of the Toyota Prius' efficiency comes from its Atkinson cycle angine, it's epicyclic CVT transmission, its aerodynamics, tyres etc. So an add-on hybrid system isn't likely to be quite as good. The Japanese manufacturers have shown that hybrids can be very reliable and without significant battery problems, let's see if Hyundai can achieve something similar.

16 December 2015
Wouldn't it be nice if they just went back to having numbers?

16 July 2015
Honda already had a go at building a Prius with the 2nd gen Insight and this looks like a similar proposition. Let's hope it's better executed. Incidentally, I saw an original Insight coupe on the road the other day, the driver looked very contented with life. Cannot believe how Honda squandered this legacy. They didn't do the CRZ properly either.

17 July 2015
I ran a second generation Insight for three years and almost 100 000 miles. It was a great car for me - I need a reliable automatic and I do a high mileage - but I can see that others might find it compromised. It was written off so I bought an Auris Hybrid, which has a Prius drivetrain in an Auris body. I've only done a couple of thousand miles in it. Fitting the hybrid drivetrain to a model that was not originally designed for one has a couple of disadvantages - it's a bit less economical than a Prius, especially in 17" wheel form, and the boot is eaten into by part of the battery pack. It's still very economical - 60 mpg plus (which may drop in the winter), consistently better than the Insight's, which had a better boot but poorer passenger compartment.
LP is right - the Atkinson Cycle engine is very economical but low torque. That's where the motor comes in. The transmission is as much a part of the set up as the engine in the way that it shares power and torque between the ICE and motor. It's also beautifully simple with, as far as I can make out, 7 moving parts. They have a tremendous reputation for longevity in taxis.
It worries me a bit that other hybrids are going down the dual clutch route. Maybe I'm biased, but I feel the jury is still out on those which regards to longevity. It's one of the reasons I bought a hybrid not a diesel automatic, as the latter isn't particularly economical with a torque converter auto, single clutch automated manuals are horrible, in my experience, and dual clutch ones are expensive and (to my mind) unproven.
Honda and Toyota hybrids are not as complex as people think- probably far less complexity than a turbo diesel. When I taught science, I could get kids to make an electric motor. I doubt if any of them could make a variable vane turbo let alone an ICE!

7 December 2015
Autocar wrote:

The new car, which was spotted testing earlier this year, is billed as the first car from any manufacturer to be offered with three powertrain options within a single body type.

I suppose, for some reason, the MQB chassis'd Mk 7 e-Golf, the Mk 7 petrol/plug-in electric hybrid GTE Golf, and the Mk 7 petrol or diesel Golf - all in one body style designed to take batteries etc, does not count in Hyundai's eyes?

gregor60 wrote:

It worries me a bit that other hybrids are going down the dual clutch route. Maybe I'm biased, but I feel the jury is still out on those with regards to longevity.

For those who like the driving feel of real gears, the dual clutch offers a solution, as in the GTE. Oh, and the Honda CVT I had was not entirely reliable, the "starter" clutch failed on it (under warranty, less that 40k miles), whereas my Mk5 Golf DSG did 66k before I sold on, and I had no gearbox or clutch problems during my ownership.

16 December 2015
6 or 7 speed DSG?

16 December 2015
winniethewoo wrote:

6 or 7 speed DSG?

I bet the 6 speed on a 2.0 Diesel? The 7 speed is the unreliable one.

7 December 2015
What bemuses me to no end is that it's been 15 years since Toyota gave us Prius and yet no other car maker has been able to take it on yet. Just how far ahead of time can a car be?

7 December 2015
Thanks, Adrian. Always good to have one's prejudices challenged. I was a bit wary that the Honda still had a clutch (the Toyota system doesn't) though I think the Insight clutch is after the gearbox so it doesn't spin so fast. Loving the Auris drivetrain, by the way.

7 December 2015

That's good re Auris drivetrain. The Toyota CVT is gears rather than bands. I feel CVT generally gets bad press unfairly. I have use of 17 year old (perfectly reliable!) Micra 1.3 CVT on an occasional basis, and I always enjoy driving it. That has a "powder" clutch (electro-magnetic?), which is brilliant - when coming to a stop in traffic, the clutch disengages so no need to hold on foot brake, just one click on the handbrake is fine. There is an "micro-switch" in the accelerator linkage, and if you want a bit of creep, just a feather foot resting on the accelerator activates this and provides the creep. Much better than what was in the Honda.

I have not tried either the Auris or the Prius, but if my driving was predominantly in town, I could be tempted by the CVT experience again, in my view, they are a perfect match for town driving conditions (and small country lanes), and such a hybrid seems like a good solution for some local air quality improvement.


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